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  • Writer's pictureBrett Simpson

In my experience...I'm an expert in one thing

What makes someone an ‘expert’?

…a skill or talent?

…knowledge about a topic?

…past successes?

…a credential or certification?

We all know experts. Sometimes I envy them because they have a defined area of expertise that can be marketed clearly…making them the go-to person for something…thereby cementing their job security.  That’s obviously a huge oversimplification and assumes their area of expertise stays relevant.  Some experts I’ve met say it can actually be a curse with as many negatives as positives.

In my quest to find out if I’m an expert in anything I looked up the definition.  According to the Merriam-Webster website an expert is “one with a special skill or knowledge representing mastery of a particular subject.”  This gave me hope…I believe I have lots of skills and knowledge.  That said, I don’t know if I can actually claim ‘mastery’ in anything.  I looked up that word too, but won’t continue down the potentially endless path of definitions.  The good news is I found something that I am without a doubt an expert in.

In my experience, I’m an expert at having my own opinions.  That’s the one thing no one is better at than me.  Silly?…Maybe.  True?…Yes. I use my opinions every day to inform what I do, how I do it and why I do it.  Of course, I also base decisions and actions on past experiences and learnings. 

While I may never be viewed as a true expert in something “tangible”, there is still enormous value in non-expert levels of skill, knowledge and experience.  The need for true expertise can be short-term, such as getting from A to B on a project.  Once that’s done, us non-experts can take it from there without degradation in delivery, because expertise isn’t the only path to success.  

My aim is to be a high-performer, broad in focus and capability, because that’s what I enjoy. That said, I sure do appreciate the capability and availability of experts when I need them.

Special thanks to Andrew Colombo, whose expertise and friendship are invaluable, and to Tim Creasey, whose thought-leadership in Change Management is transformational.

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